Alexandria H.S. CNA Class of 2022

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SNF Delivers – and Delivers on – Charge to Next Generation of Healthcare Professionals 

ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 15, 2022 – Donna Shaw, administrator of Woodbine Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center in Alexandria, is passionate about serving the seniors in her care. But, she said, while commitment to residents is key, also important is a commitment to nursing itself and to furthering the profession.  

Woodbine has long been a champion of CNA (certified nursing assistant) training programs like the one at Alexandria High School, and Shaw recently delivered the keynote address to the program’s Class of 2022. The 16 students completed their clinical training at the local skilled nursing center, gaining hands-on experience with patients under the supervision of Woodbine’s nursing team.   

Shaw noted that seeing such a large class makes her happy. “The world is in need of people like you who will make a difference in the life of another human being,” she told the students. “You are embarking on a career that will bring you so much joy. As a nurse myself, I can tell you that you may have difficult days, you may have challenging patients, but know that your patients will be so very grateful for the care that you provide.”  

Woodbine DON Reflects Next-Generation Potential 
As a case study in continuity, not only is Woodbine working to foster the next generation of healthcare workers right in the local community but provides a microcosm of the highest-quality professionals who launch their careers via CNA training programs like Alexandria High School’s.   

Woodbine’s own director of nursing – Springfield, Va., resident Florence Debra, is a 1991 graduate of the very program Woodbine now supports and has been part of the facility’s care team since then. Originally from Ghana, she has a deep background as a clinician and leader. Debra holds an administrator’s license and is a certified nurse executive. In addition, she is certified by the American Association of Post-Acute Care Nursing and obtained her infection preventionist credential.  

Last fall, Debra was presented with the Virginia Health Care Association’s (VHCA-VCAL’s) “Director of Nursing of the Year Award.” VHCA-VCAL’s annual award recognizes an individual who possesses and demonstrates clinical and managerial expertise; leadership skills in quality care with positive outcomes; respect for residents, co-workers and policy; integrity and a high standard of ethical behavior; the ability to maintain an efficient, professional environment; and availability to staff and family members.   

“We are incredibly proud that Flo was recognized as the best DON in the State of Virginia – an attribute that resonates every day in the care provided to Woodbine’s residents,” Shaw said. “She is a testament to the great foundation provided by the high school program, and the commitment its graduates make to our industry and their communities.”   

Shaw added that in addition to its involvement with the Alexandria High School CNA program, her team also provides hands-on opportunities for registered nursing candidates from local nursing schools, and are delighted that they often return to apply for permanent positions. 

Located at 2729 King St. in Alexandria, Woodbine Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center, with 307 beds, provides post-hospital care, short-term rehab and long-term residential care, with a range of progressive, specialty skilled nursing services. It has the state’s largest licensed skilled nursing capacity. Woodbine, which maintains a five-star rating in quality measures from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), recently was recognized as one of Virginia’s top nursing homes in Newsweek’s America’s Best Nursing Homes 2022 – for the third consecutive year. 

PHOTO CAPTION: The Woodbine High School CNA Class of 2022, with their teaching team and Woodbine Administrator Donna Shaw (third from right, pink mask).  


About Woodbine Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center 
729 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22302  

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Media Contact:    
Sandy Crisafulli/Emma Ackel 
Caryl Communications   
201-796-7788 /